Saturday, August 22, 2015

Navajos vote not to irrigate with contaminated river water

The scorched earth campaign of the US EPA's gold mine spill is devastating for Navajo farmers, the latest travesty in the Four Corners, where Cold War uranium mining and coal-fired power plants have left a trail of death for Navajos

Duane 'Chili' Yazzie
By Brenda Norrell
Censored News

SHIPROCK, N.M. -- Navajo farmers at Shiprock made the heart-wrenching decision not to irrigate crops this season with the San Juan River water now contaminated with heavy metals from the Animas River Gold King mine spill, which the US EPA was responsible for.
Duane 'Chili' Yazzie said, "The Shiprock Chapter of the Navajo Nation voted 104 to 0 not to turn river water back into our irrigation system for this season. It was one of the hardest decisions we have ever had to make.
"It was difficult to watch farmers make the heart wrenching decision they know will assure the loss of much of our crops; crops that they are attached to, that they nurtured, cared for and sang to. Through our tears we ask for forgiveness from our corn and our crop family," Yazzie said.
"It was a sacrifice to make sure that we not contaminate our irrigation system and our farmlands. We said we will not risk the quality of our crops into the future. It was a decision that said we want to leave a clean land for our grandchildren. 
"Our prayer is for our river, the Earth Mother to heal.
"We stand as proud and resilient Diné, we will persevere, we shall survive," Yazzie said.
The heart-wrenching vote comes after Shiprock farmers found oil contamination in the water that arrived in the tanks from the US EPA after the spill. The US EPA sent water by way of an oil and fracking company and the tanks were contaminated with oil.
Even before the oil contaminated water arrived from the US EPA, the US EPA began a dirty tricks campaign, attempting to get Navajos to sign waivers which would limit the EPA's responsibility for the river spill.
Shiprock is in the heart of the Four Corners where coal-fired power plants have already poisoned the air, water and land. 
Further, the Cold War uranium mining in the area left a trail of deaths from uranium mining because Navajo uranium miners were sent to their deaths without protective clothing in the uranium mines, even after the US knew that it would kill them. 
The radioactive dust poisoned food, crops and livestock grazing areas. Even in recent years, homes in the area, including Red Valley and Cove, where built using radioactive rocks, as revealed by Geiger counters. Still today, radioactive rocks remain scattered in the Shiprock region because of the failed cleanup.
The poisoning of the Animas River and San Juan River by the US EPA is the latest in this travesty of a scorched earth campaign carried out here. 
The Four Corners coal-fired power plants, some of the dirtiest in the world, have resulted in this becoming a sacrifice zone, with respiratory diseases and cancer in this trail of death.
Read more at Censored News

Friday, August 21, 2015

EPA sent Navajos poison water after river spill

Navajo President Russell Begaye shows the oil tainted water that the US EPA
sent Navajos to drink and give to their livestock
EPA sends Navajos poisoned water by way of oil and fracking trucking company

By Brenda Norrell
Censored News

SHIPROCK, N.M. -- The US EPA sent Navajos poisoned water after the massive Animas gold mine spill, which the EPA was responsible for. 
Further, Navajos say EPA officials have not only denied the water in the tanks was tainted, but have accused Navajos of being mentally unstable who exposed the contaminated water. Listen to the video statements:
The Gold King mine spill flowed from the Animas River into the San Juan River, which Navajo farmers are dependent on for irrigation. The San Juan River is also used for livestock and Navajo families swim in the river.
After the spill flooded the rivers with heavy metals, the EPA then sent water in tanks contaminated with oil.
In Shiprock on Monday, Duane 'Chili' Yazzie said,  "Disaster upon catastrophe in Shiprock. The water transport company that was hired by EPA to haul water from the non-contaminated San Juan River set up 11 large 16,000 gallon tanks throughout the farming areas in Shiprock and filled them up with water for the crops. As they started to take water from the tanks for their corn and melons, the farmers noticed the water from some of tanks was rust colored, smelled of petroleum and slick with oil. The hopes of the farmers of actually being able to save some of the precious crops were obliterated in an instant with the tainted water. The farmers refused to use the water."
"EPA and SSS Trucking were told to take the water and dump it off Rez, to load up the tanks and get off the Rez. Stands to reason, the water transport company was SSS Trucking of Farmington, one of the trucking companies that supply the dreaded fracking operations with 600+ nasty chemicals and millions of gallons of water. Now the Chapter, the Navajo Nation and BIA are scrambling to secure other sources for water. Crops are getting thirsty, it is reaching critical stage. Pray for rain."
Navajo President Russell Begaye and the Navajo Nation Attorney General Branch are personally investigating concerns about tainted water in EPA tanks, Begaye said in a statement.
"The President and the Attorney General are extremely troubled by these reports and are working to gather all the facts and will discuss their findings with senior EPA officials and the Navajo Nation as soon as we updated information."
Marisa Demarco at KUNM radio in Albuquerque reported Monday that Navajo farmers had been sent contaminated water by the US EPA. 
KUNM reports:
"Farmers in Shiprock say the tankers arriving with desperately needed hydration for their crops contained water that smelled like petroleum, was visibly discolored and had an odd sheen to it.
“The barrels are not clean,” said Farm Board Representative Joe Ben Jr. “They are from oil drilling operations.”
The deliveries were intended to help crops that are wilting in the sun after the spill at the Gold King Mine in Colorado on Aug. 5 contaminated the San Juan River downstream. Ben halted the distribution of the emergency replacement water. “The EPA has begun to study this water,” he said. “In the meantime, our plants are dying.”
EPA testing results for the San Juan River were not released until 10 days after the spill.
The farmers are outraged, Ben said, and they have yet to receive one clean gallon from the EPA, which took responsibility for the Animas River spill. “I am at the point where I just don’t understand this situation no longer,” he said. “There are no resources extended to us.”
There are about 450 farmers in the Shiprock area, which is the agricultural hub of the Navajo Nation. “This is a national resource—a treasure,” Ben said.
More on the story at KUNM:

Navajos to BLM: Stop Sacrificing us for Dirty Coal Energy!

Four Corners residents tired of being sacrificed for dirty coal electricity, residents testified during BLM listening session

Louise Benally, Big Mountain

By Brenda Norrell
Censored News

FARMINGTON, N.M. -- Speaking out against the laws that target Native Americans and their natural resources, Native people told the Bureau of Land Management to make the change to renewable energy and halt the ongoing genocide of Native Americans for dirty coal energy.
Native Americans, scientists, farmers and laborers described the reality of disease and death in the Four Corners sacrifice region, during a BLM listening session.
Louise Benally, Dine' of Big Mountain resisting forced relocation, testified that she is a victim of the destruction of coal mining by Peabody Coal on Black Mesa, where the forced relocation of Dine' (Navajos) has been carried out to clear the way for Peabody Coal mining.
Benally said right now sheep and livestock are being impounded on Black Mesa.
Benally said Arizona Sen. John McCain continues his attempts to steal Colorado River water rights for those who live in luxury in southern Arizona and for the coal-fired Navajo Generating Station in Page, Arizona, which provides electricity for southern Arizona.
"The utility companies eat the earth, suck 
out her breath."
Describing how the coal companies destroy the earth, she said, "We're sick and tired of your greed."
Benally said the US continues killing the people through its laws.
"The Arctic drilling needs to stop," Benally said, pointing out Obama's decision to grant Shell the right to drill in the Arctic. 
"The Alberta pipeline needs to stop," Benally said of the Alberta oil tarsands and its pipelines, including the Keystone XL.
She said India and China need renewable forms of energy instead of continuing the demand for these dirty forms of energy.
"Do your job make that change," Benally told the BLM.
Lester Begay testifying today
Lester Begay testified that the Dine' elders knew, and foretold, that what was taken out of the ground would kill the people.
Begay said the elders taught Dine' to respect what is in nature. He shared the elders story: When white people pick up a rock, they will look at it all day, then they will sell it.
Native Americans testified that asthma and heart attacks are caused each year by the Four Corners and San Juan power plants alone in New Mexico.
Four Corners power plants mean the region has become a sacrifice zone, producing dirty coal fired electricity for distant cities.
Pueblos testified that the Jackpile Mine uranium mine caused death in the Laguna and Acoma Pueblos in New Mexico. Pueblo miners went to the mines unprotected, and the radiation spread over their water, food and livestock grazing areas.
"Our very way of life was stolen," said one Pueblo woman who spoke of her grandfather's death.
"They were not made to clean up the damage that they had done." She added that no amount of money could bring back her grandfather.
A member of the Dine' medicine peoples association said, "You have to be careful how you distract Mother Earth."
"We have to respect Mother Earth," she said, describing the poisons from the power plants.
One person testifying for Indigenous and people of color said that the Four Corners residents who came to testify were disrespected by the BLM officials, during their prayer outside earlier. Further, she said they were not greeted properly by the BLM.
Native Americans living in the Four Corners regions said children are among the ones who are suffering from asthma and respiratory diseases from the coal-fired power plants.
The San Juan Generating Station and Four Corners power plants use huge amounts of clean drinking water and release toxic water, residents testified.
Coal-mining targets the poor and most vulnerable, residents said.
One of those residents, who lives downstream from the Four Corners power plants, said his five year old son nearly died from the downstream power plant pollution. He told the BLM officials to go down there and drink the dirty water coming out of Four Corners power plants. He said they expect his family and children to drink it, so they should go drink it.
"There is no such thing as clean coal," one Four Corners resident said.
The United States was told to stop subsidizing dirty coal energy.
Charles Pacheco described working in power plants, hazardous waste and radiation.
Pacheco said the Obama administration would not comply with regulations regarding safe respirators and arsenic at San Juan Generating Station. 
When Pacheco complained, he was terminated.
Donna House, Dine'
"If you were a laborer and said anything about it, they laid you off."
Donna House, Dine', described how the power plants have destroyed rare and endangered plant species. The power plants have destroyed habitat for plant species and people, House said.
Farmers said they need clean water for their crops. New Mexico has a rich culture and the people will not stop fighting dirty coal, one farmer said.
The BLM was also criticized for failing to announce this session in other languages, in the state of New Mexico, which is multi-lingual.
"We want system change, not climate change," one resident testified.
A high school student from Santa Fe testified that dirty coal electricity is the number one contributor to global warming.
It was also pointed out that last year was the hottest year on record, and there are wild fires raging now in the west.
Peabody Coal and other dirty coal companies are going bankrupt and taxpayers will be left with the cost of this dirty energy that has caused widespread death and disease, residents testified.
Those testifying about climate change and destructive US coal energy policies included Dine', Pueblo, students, scientists, farmers, laborers, sheep herders, filmmakers, and community members from Big Mountain to Taos Valley and Colorado, Santa Fe, Albuquerque, and beyond.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Dine' Chase Sen. McCain off Navajo Nation

Below: Click arrow to watch video!


NO MORE ALLOWING state or federal politicians and the
corporations they represent entrance into our homelands

By Nihigaal bee Iina
Censored News
August 14, 2015

Diné taking action in Window Rock to address John McCain's ecocidal and genocidal policies. This morning at the Navajo Nation Museum, members of various Indigenous nations joined together in collective solidarity around water security, resistance against resource extraction, and closed door negotiation. 
Senator John McCain's meeting had to be moved to the auditorium while outside protesters made their intentions known through protest and song.
"We will rise up as the new leaders of our Nations, in solidarity with our Indigenous Brothers and Sisters, and we start by saying NO MORE ALLOWING state or federal politicians and the corporations they represent entrance into our homelands. Those who are responsible for our people being poisoned, starved, kept in poverty and removed from our sacred territories, are not welcomed here!! We will take back our power and restore our homelands, take care of our water, protect our people and our sacred sites, and mentor a new generation of youth who will change this paradigm of exploitation and greed!" (Collective voice of those united in solidarity)

Adriano Tsinigne said, "Showing my support from the Navajo Nation. Met Mr. McCain, and asked for a photo, then I pulled out my 'Protect Oak Flat' card and when he saw it, he looked me right in the eye and said 'Get out of here, now!' Haha, this ma'ii is just afraid of us, because of how powerful we are."


Indigenous Resistance: Note from Publisher

Hi Friends,
Please go to Censored News to see all the recent posts! Sorry I haven't had enough time at the Internet this summer to post on both blogs each day. Best, Brenda, publisher

CENSORED NEWS: IEN: Youth call for DC civil disobedience to stop ...

CENSORED NEWS: IEN: Youth call for DC civil disobedience to stop ...: The Indigenous Environmental Network  •  PO Box 485  •  Bemidji, MN 56619 ...

CENSORED NEWS: Dine' Protesters Chase John McCain off Navajo Nati...

CENSORED NEWS: Dine' Protesters Chase John McCain off Navajo Nati...: By Nihigaal bee Iina Censored News Scroll down for video 'Chasing McCain off Navajo Nation' Diné taking act...